The term "Universe" defies exact description or definition... even by the greatest scientific minds... simply because it "exists " far beyond the boundaries of this very temporal band of existence we know as earthly existence. I use the word in my own unique way to explain what others might refer to as Karma... Destiny...Fate... just to name a few. To "me" the Universe is simply...."Existence". I make no effort to understand it in terms of its beginning... or its end.... I simply accept that "I" exist in the Now.... and for now!
I well understand also... that in the course of one's journey... opportunities arrive... or are presented that we must respond to - Choices by which we map and travel on our individual journeys. Often we travel "in parallel"... or on similar planes with others... but more often we travel alone.... inwardly speaking at least. Sometimes it is often difficult... painful and at times even dangerous to to make certain choices offered. They visit us unexpectedly... often simultaneously with a multitude of other choices... making the process of deciding bewildering and unsettling. Ultimately... one must bare the burden of choosing... perhaps with advice and counsel... but again ultimately on one's own.
In the spring of 1989, I made a choice when the opportunity to travel to study for eight weeks in Venice, Italy in a Venice Summer School course being offered by Queen's University to complete my undergrad arts degree. It marked the end of an almost 20 year quest using extramural winter and summer courses... while teaching and raising a family to reach this goal. My school board and my family supported that decision and I was "given leave" of both responsibilities to make this happen.... a huge gift to "Me"that became a pivotal turning point in my personal and my artistic lives.
Venice was indeed Paradise "found"... for "Me." I had begun my journey at age four sketching (copying) David, the Pieta... Laocoon.... and others from history textbooks in our home. Drawing and painting provided "Me a vehicle for expression... and for escape through "Imagineering" into my own Universe. That has been so... during the whole course of my life.
Venice and my eight week "affair" with "Her" sent me back to Reality on a high at first... wanting to share everything that I had experienced with anyone willing to be trapped for endless hours. But gradually... as with all highs comes... the low! Reality paled and for many years afterward never quite measured up to that freedom and environment that I had been immersed in. I was stuck between Reality... and Paradise "lost"!
It has been a very long and painful recovery... for all of us involved. But today... the wheel has come full circle and that long ago choice: ... "To go... or not to go... that is the question!"... has finally been justified in my own mind.
My daughter Allison followed "Me" to that same place ...Venezia... using the same summer school opportunity eleven years ago this week in her last undergraduate course with our Alma Mater Queen's University. She and I both stood at the top of our class of about twenty-five students and found our True Selves in that experience. I found my artistic place... and "She"... through her intellect and persistence... a PhD in Art History... authorship and an emerging place in teaching at the university level.
Today... she is in her beloved Venice... without all of her initial fears, financial challenges and misgivings. This week... "She" will be leading twenty-five Queen's students along the streets of Venice and environs... as the teacher of that summer school class!
The Universe does "speak"... to each of us in mysterious ways. How or whether we answer... is our own decision!
Wish that "I" were there to share the Serenissima with you Allison!
But that's another story... for another... at this moment... distant post perhaps!
Allison entered a sandwich recipe contest online sponsored by Country Harvest... with three $1000 cash prizes being offered to 3 of the 10 finalists selected by the judges. Her VERY TASTY "Divine Marinated Chicken Pesto" entry was chosen amongst the 10 finalists. DO VISIT the site www.countryharvest/contest/gallery.php to see her recipe and others. The others look delicious and nutritious.... BUT Allison's Pesto Chicken is indeed ....DDDDDDDDivine! I've tried it! If you would... both Allison and I would appreciate your having a look-see... and your vote... one vote each day until the contest closes on May 15th! Sure would help a young woman... "doin' her best"... in Venice!
Good Painting!.... Voting!,,,and Heavenly... no Divine.... Intervention! HAHA!!!
Love you Jemima!!!